SCI-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, turns 40 this month, celebrating April 19 and 20th. Located within a quarter-mile long former freight depot in the heart of the artist’s district of Los Angeles, the school has played an integral role in fostering architectural experimentation and invigorates the shape of Los Angeles. The institute began in a Santa Monica warehouse in 1972 offering solace to a small group of students and faculty who rejected the stale institutional models of other universities. The small community grew with a dialogue that would create, explore and test the limits of architecture. SCI-Arc is devoted to innovation, and encourages their students to examine their environment from a mindful cultural, philosophical, and theoretical lens while applying new applications and materials. The strongest reflection of any university is their alumni and the past four decades of SCI-Arc graduates are nothing less than extraordinary. Installation Magazine has collaborated with this cutting-edge university to present an interactive timeline featuring some of the talented graduates and their imaginative work. So much of Los Angeles has already been influenced by SCI-Arc that we feel confident that the future of our city is in capable hands.
A trans-disciplinary educator and practitioner, Michael Rotondi is principal of Los Angeles-based ROTO Architects and a SCI-Arc Distinguished Faculty member and trustee and served as director from 1987-1997. Rotondi’s research and work propose insights essential to an open-minded approach to architecture and design. Rotondi tests ideas in real time with a diverse range of creatives across many disciplines include the cultural, commercial and civic.
Dean Nota Architect
Dean Nota, FAIA is Principal of Hermosa Beach-based Dean Nota Architect. His work includes residential projects in the South Bay, such as the Yu and Reyna residences in Hermosa Beach, and the Olivares Residence in Manhattan Beach. Nota’s work has also been featured in publications such as Avi Friedman’s Narrow Houses: New Directions in Efficient Design, published by Princeton Architectural Press, and California Cool: Residential Modernism Reborn, by San Francisco photographer Russell Abraham.
Michael W. Folonis
Folonis Architects (Los Angeles)
Featured image: (top) Michael W. Folonis, Chongqing Aerial view and Final Draft: Kandge Center High-rise in Chongqing, China.
Michael W. Folonis, FAIA established his architectural practice in Santa Monica in 1983, an award-winning architectural firm whose work has been widely published nationally and internationally. Folonis taught studio design at California State University Pomona in both the graduate and undergraduate programs from 1983 to 2003. He has taught Professional Practice at SCI-Arc since 2002. His recent projects include the UCLA Outpatient Surgery and Oncology Center (UCLA OSOC) in Santa Monica, a 50,000-square-foot hybrid medical facility to house the community outpatient surgery and oncology treatment, as well as academic and medical office facilities for UCLA medical students and faculty. The medical building has been honored with multiple awards, including the 2012 Modern Healthcare Design Award and the 2010 Westside Urban Forum Design Award.
Perkins+Will (Los Angeles
Nick Seierup, FAIA is Design Director in the downtown Los Angeles office of Perkins+Will, where he has been Principal since 2000. Most recently, he led a design presentation to the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the new one million sq. ft., 500-bed King Saud AbdulAziz Specialty Children’s Hospital (KASCH) located in Jeddah. Seierup believes that architecture plays an important role in society and that it is the architect’s responsibility to advance and enrich the public domain through thoughtful, conscientious design.
Ben Levin, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP is a Principal and Office Leader for international design firm DLR Group. Prior to DLR Group’s merger with WWCOT, Levin was Partner in Charge of Interior Design at WWCOT. His previous positions have included Director of Interior Architecture at Johnson Fain, Architect at Keating Mann Jernigan Rottet, and Designer at DMJM Rottet.
B. Arch ’82
Chu + Gooding (Los Angeles)
Both licensed architects in California, Annie Chu and Rick Gooding are principals of Chu + Gooding Architects in Los Angeles, focusing on projects for arts-related and higher education clients. Collaborating since 1998, Chu+Gooding have completed institutional and residential projects both locally, nationally and abroad. Among them is the Los Angeles Philharmonic Offices in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Kentucky Museum of Art + Design in Louisville, KY, NFL Network Studios and over 20 interior projects for the J.Paul Getty Museum.
Annie Chu’s current work includes a Mexican Cultural Center LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles, an upcoming exhibit design for the Hammer Museum, a new headquarters for Southern California Public Radio (KPCC 89.3) in Pasadena, the Culver Center of the Arts, and a new graduate arts facility for the University of California Riverside. In the last few years, she completed the schematic design for the renovation and addition to the Museum of History and Art, Ontario, and the design for the Masters of American Comics joint exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
For more than 15 years, Rick Godding has taught at various schools of architecture and continues to be an active member of the SCI-Arc Alumni Association. Rick worked as a project architect and senior associate with Tod Williams Billie Tsien & Associates in New York from 1986 to 1990, where his projects included the Feinberg Hall Dormitory and Taplin Auditorium at Princeton University, Master Planning and Schematic Design for a 500-unit Residential College and Dining Hall at the University of Virginia, Master Planning for an addition to the Phoenix Art Museum, collaborative projects with artists Mary Miss, Sol Lewitt and Dan Graham, as well as the Architecture Tomorrow exhibit at the Walker Art Center.
Principal Annie Chu’s twitter account @chugooding
S.E.A. (Los Angeles)
B. Arch ’83
David Hertz is founder and president of S.E.A., the Studio of Environmental Architecture, a Santa Monica based practice devoted to green building. Before graduating from SCI-Arc, Hertz worked in the office of architect John Lautner, FAIA (formerly an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright). Before opening his own firm Syndesis Inc., Hertz pursued an internship in the office of Frank O. Gehry and Associates. In 2008, David was elected to the prestigious College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects as the youngest member in its 152-year history. Many of Hertz’s furniture pieces are displayed in significant private and museum collections and have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian Museum of American History and in the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. Hertz’s personal involvement includes membership and pro-bono services for many non-profit environmental and social service organizations including Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), and Heal the Bay. Hertz has served on the faculty at SCI-Arc, and is currently on the Academic Advisory Committee for UCLA’s Extension Program, teaching sustainable design courses.
Scrafano Architects (Los Angeles)
Principal and founder of Scrafano Architects with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles. Elissa has worked at the offices of Frank O. Gehry and Associates, Eric Owen Moss Architects, and Narduli Grinstein Architects before establishing Scrafano Architects in 1997. She has taught at SCI-Arc, University of California at Irvine, and Woodbury University and is a registered architect in California, Michigan and Illinois.
(fer)Studio (Inglewood, CA)
Christopher L. Mercier is an established artist/designer and developed a unique style based on exploiting the potentials within architecture and art to create a fluid environmental concept within the confines of practical construction. His interest in the interrelationship of the mediums of painting, sculpture and architecture continually feeds his design process. After graduate school, Mercier went on to work for various Los Angeles based architects including spending nine years at Gehry Partners, L.L.C. (formerly Frank O. Gehry & Associates) as a Senior Associate/Project Architect, working on and overseeing a diverse list of projects, clientele and collaborative efforts, ranging from the Condé Nast Cafeteria in New York to the Bilbao Museum in Spain, master planning project for Playa Vista, the conceptual design for a walking bridge in London with artist Richard Serra, the Bio-Diversity Museum in Panama and many more.
Barbara Bestor is the Principal of Bestor Architecture, a Los Angeles office for progressive architecture. She is also the author of Bohemian Modern, Living in Silverlake (Harper Collins 2006), a book dedicated to the suppressed narrative of informal and eccentric Modernism found in Silverlake’s rich domestic architectural history. Her work is dedicated to the idea that “everyone should experience strange beauty everyday.” It includes a wide range of projects from commercial spaces, such as restaurants and stores for Intelligentsia Coffee, Trina Turk, and Stussy; new experimental houses in Venice, Silverlake, Santa Barbara and New York City; and a variety of non-profit installations.
B. Arch ‘93
B. Arch ‘03
Ball + Nogues (Los Angeles)
Gaston Nogues together with Benjamin Ball of Ball-Nogues Studio features projects that span art, architecture, and industrial design. Their work has been exhibited at major institutions throughout the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum; PS1; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; arc en rêve centre d’architecture + Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux; the Venice Biennale, the Hong Kong | Shenzhen Biennale; and the Beijing Biennale. They have received numerous honors including three American Institute of Architects Design Awards, United States Artists Target Fellowships and a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. In 2007, the Studio was the winner of the Museum of Modern Arts PS1 Young Architects Program Competition. Recently, their work became part of the permanent collection of MoMA.
Deegan-Day Design, LLC
Joe Day is a designer and architectural theorist in Los Angeles, where he leads Deegan-Day Design LLC. and serves on the design and history/theory faculty at SCI-Arc. In addition to frequent publication of his design work, Day’s critical writing has been featured in journals including Architecture magazine, Interior Design, LoudPaper, Deutsche Bauzeitung and Architecture and Urbanism in Latin America, as well as in surveys and anthologies including Sessions (SCI-Arc, 2005) and Evil Paradises (New Press, 2007.) He is currently assembling the LA Forum Reader and a study on the roles played by prisons and museums in urban renewal. Day is currently a member of the SCI-Arc Board of Directors, and a Director at the W.M. Keck Lecture Foundation.
The Office of Hadley + Peter Arnold (Los Angeles)
Hadley and Peter—who met as graduate students at SCI-Arc—have taught sustainable architecture studios, at UCLA and at Woodbury University since 2002. They formed the Arid Lands Institute to research innovative responses to climate change and water scarcity. Their locally famous Dry Studio involves wild and bumpy road trips across the arid west, where the entire class camps out, designing and erecting temporary drought-responsive structures.
Standard (Los Angeles)
Jeffrey Allsbrook, AIA is a licensed architect and founding Principal of Standard. Allsbrook’s built and theoretical work has been featured in numerous publications both nationally and internationally. In addition to his professional work, he is committed to architectural education and research. He has maintained a faculty position at USC since 1999, where he continues to teach architectural design studios. Allsbrook has presented lectures on Standard’s work and his research on Le Corbusier, as well as juried reviews at USC, SCI-Arc, UCLA, Otis College and Rice University. Prior to forming Standard, he was a designer at Munkenbeck and Marshall in London, and a project architect for Mark Mack Architects in Los Angeles.
Hyon Cara Lee
lee + mundwiler architects
Cara Lee & Stephan Mundwiler are Principals of lee + mundwiler architects, with offices in Los Angeles and Switzerland. Their firm was recently awarded the 2012 AIA LA Emerging Practice Award. International projects include the recently completed Dapeng Geology Museum in Shenzhen, China. The firm has also received AIA awards for Urban Design in 2008 and 2009 for The Central Park of the New Radiant City, Shenzhen, China. In 2007, the practice was featured in Taschen’s A-Z of Modern Architecture. Lee has taught at USC and at SCI-Arc.
RA-DA (Los Angeles)
After a decade as a Design Lead for two prominent architectural firms in Southern California, Rania Alomar founded RA-DA in 2006, a full-service design and architecture practice that is nimble and focused. Known for her creativity and vision, Alomar’s open-minded approach has led to a widely varied design portfolio, and architectural solutions that have garnered some of the most prestigious awards in her field. Her work has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Interior Design Magazine, LA Architects and others. RA-DA has won the 2013 National AIA Institute Honors Award for Interior Architecture. Alomar together with fellow alumni Sofia Ames and Jesse Madrid were awarded the prestigious AIA honor for their project, DocMagic–an office for a technology company based in Torrance, CA. The project features strategic use of light in the interior corridors of the building to epitomize the blur between the physical and virtual world.
[ Studio Collective ]
Adam Goldstein Christian Schulz and partner Leslie Kale of [Studio Collective] established their Santa Monica firm in 2009 after working for well-known designers including Frank Gehry, Philippe Stark and Dodd Mitchell. [ Studio Collective ] gained AIA recognition in 2011 for refurbishment work on the Spare Room cocktail lounge, one of Hollywood’s latest entertainment destinations located at the mezzanine level of the Roosevelt Hotel. In addition to the Spare Room, [Studio Collective ] has completed hospitality projects for sbe entertainment, Thompson Hotels, and several concept retail designs for Quiksilver, including their flagship store in Santa Monica.
Heyday Partnership (Los Angeles)
Kevin Wronske, AIA, LEED AP is Co-Founder and Partner at the Heyday Partnership, a residential design/build/development firm. In 2009, Kevin received an AIA Young Architectural Talent Award honorable mention for work completed at Heyday. Prior to Heyday, Kevin worked at Design Office, led by late SCI-Arc faculty member George Yu, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Agence Ouvray (Hong Kong, Paris)
Samson Chua currently heads the Asia Pacific branch of a master planning, architecture and landscape design company based in Hong Kong and Paris and works alongside fellow SCI-Arc alumni Katsuhiro Ozawa and Tim Fang.
Anonymous Architects (Los Angeles)
Founded in 2005 by Simon Storey, Anonymous Architects is predominantly focussed on custom residential buildings but also, when time permits, designs and builds furniture. Prior to founding his firm, Storey worked as project architect for EscherGuneWardena and Bestor Architecture.
Atelier Ace (Portland, OR)
Eric Cheong spent more than eight years as a senior designer in New York City. During his time in New York, Cheong was Vice President at building and interiors firm Roman and Williams, then spent a year as a Principal of his own firm before he was approached to be Director for Atelier Ace, the cutting edge design firm responsible for the Ace hotels and related brand based in Portland, Oregon. He is currently managing the restoration and refurbishment of the United Artists building in downtown Los Angeles into an Ace Hotel.
LAYER (Los Angeles)
Lisa Little and Emily White are Los Angeles based designers and co-founders of the architecture office Layer. Layer has created commissioned works for the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the New Children’s Museum, the Skirball Cultural Center, Materials & Applications and completed several commercial and residential commissions. Emily White has lectured and published on topics ranging from manufactured islands to the history of code in fibrous architecture. Her work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries. She has taught design studios at USC, UC Berkeley and Woodbury University and is currently full-time faculty at SCI-Arc. Lisa Little worked as an Associate at Patrick Tighe Architecture for three years. Prior to that she was a designer in the office of Pugh+Scarpa Architects. Previously, she was the Director of the Flame and Inferno software development team at software developer Discreet Logic and a hardware design engineer at Abekas Video Systems developing hardware systems for film and television post production.
M-Rad (Los Angeles)
Matthew Rosenberg of M-Rad was second place winner in the eco-focused international design competition, Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). His design was selected from 250 public artwork entries for Freshkills Park in New York City. Rosenberg’s proposal would generate 250 MW of renewable energy annually, enough to provide 500 homes in the area half of their total annual electricity demands.
F. Myles Sciotto
soCinematic (Los Angeles)
F.Myles Sciotto is an architect deeply interested in empirical space, the ways in which structure imposes affect and the dialogue between the visceral and theoretical experience F.Myles is now a Ph.D student in the Department of Media Arts and Technology at UCSB and has taught studios and seminars at SCI-Arc, USC and UCSB. He has been a guest critic and lectured at Columbia University, SCI-Arc, Art Center, The Art Institute and has exhibited at galleries and festivals around the US. He currently lives in downtown Los Angeles.
While in graduate school, Joshua Morrato worked for PATTERNS, the offices of SCI-Arc faculty Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of UCLA. Upon graduation, he spent a year in the office of Los Angeles based architect and faculty member Tom Wiscombe. He then moved to Austria for a year to work with world-renowned architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au. After returning to Los Angeles in 2012, Moratto set up his own practice, Maximal A+D, based in Malibu, where he serves as Principal and designer.
Matthew Au received a 2011 Best Thesis Award from SCI-Arc. While in graduate school, he has worked for the practices of SCI-Arc faculty Ramiro Diaz-Granados and Andrew Zago. Currently, Au is working on the upcoming SCI-Arc Gallery exhibition, A Confederacy of Heretics, The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979, part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. initiative.
During her final year at SCI-Arc, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge was selected as a winner of the National Exhibition Migrating Landscapes, her submission was among 18 projects selected to represent Team Canada at the prestigious event. The submission features a cabin built by her great grandfather on the trapline in Ft. McMurray and incorporates techniques passed down from her Métis families based in craft and technology. In 2007, Shaw-Collinge co-curated The Apartment Show in 2007 with Robert Harpin and Aspen Zettel, which invited 37 installation and performance artists to exhibit on themes of domestic life in an abandoned 3-story apartment building. In 2009, she curated The Office Show, which transformed an empty storefront into an office environment, showing work by 12 artists. Tiffany Shaw-Collinge currently resides in Los Angeles.
Liz & Kyle von Hasseln
Recent SCI-Arc graduates Liz and Kyle von Hasseln have been awarded the inaugural SCI-Arc Gehry Prize for developing an interruptible 3D printing method, dubbed Phantom Geometry, that allows designers to make alterations to the design while it is being printed. The Phantom Geometry method is a convenient alternative to the conventional, static 3D printing systems available today. The system’s main components includes a UV light projector, a special photosensitive resin, and controlled robotic arms from SCI-Arc’s Robot House.
All images courtesy of SCI-Arc or respective architect(s), design firm, or graduate.
A. Moret collaborated with Georgiana Ceausu from SCI-Arc Communication and PR Division.